One of the most popular shows in the history of New York’s Metropolitan Museum, a retrospective devoted to the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, is to come to London in 2015, the VA said on Thursday.
The Savage Beauty show was wildly successful, attracting more than 660,000 visitors in 2011, making it the eighth most visited exhibition in the Met’s 142-year history and putting it in a top 10 that includes the time the Mona Lisa came to Manhattan in 1963 and a Treasures of Tutankhamun show in 1978.
New Yorkers queued around the block to get tickets for the show, and the VA expects similar interest in London.
The VA’s director, Martin Roth, said: “I am thrilled to announce that the VA will bring this wonderful exhibition to London to celebrate the extraordinary creative talent of one of the most innovative designers of recent times.
“Lee Alexander McQueen was brought up in London, studied here and based his globally successful McQueen fashion brand here – by staging the exhibition at the VA it feels like we are bringing his work home.”
Jonathan Akeroyd, chief executive of the Alexander McQueen fashion house, said: “Savage Beauty is a story telling of the most imaginative and talented designer of our time. We are incredibly proud as a house to be able to showcase Lee’s visionary body of work in London as a celebration of his legacy and an inspiration to a future generation.”
McQueen killed himself in 2010, aged only 40.
The show at the Met was critically acclaimed as well as popular. The New York Times critic wrote: “The show, or rather what’s in it, is a button-pushing marvel: ethereal and gross, graceful and utterly manipulative, and poised on a line where fashion turns into something else.”